Tag Archives: underride roundtable

Media Coverage of the Second Underride Roundtable

The Second Underride Roundtable was held at the IIHS Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, on August 29, 2017. Read media reports of this successful gathering of various stakeholders to work together to improve comprehensive underride protection:

  1. Insurance Institute Conducts Successful Test of Side Underguard Protection http://www.ttnews.com/articles/insurance-institute-conducts-sucessful-test-side-underguard-protection 
  2.  Side guard on semitrailer prevents underride in 40 mph test http://www.iihs.org/iihs/news/desktopnews/side-guard-on-semitrailer-prevents-underride-in-40-mph-test
  3. Advocates for Truck Safety Hold Underride Roundtable and Crash Test at IIHS http://www.nbc29.com/story/36245364/advocates-for-truck-safety-hold-underride-roundtable-and-crash-test-at-iihs
  4. Grieving parents break down after crash test shows life-saving technology http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/underrides/grieving-parents-break-down-after-crash-test-shows-technology-that-could-have-saved-their-kids/469019354
  5. “Hall of Crashes” may hold the key to safer cars and roads  http://www.wusa9.com/news/investigations/underrides/hall-of-crashes-may-hold-the-key-to-safer-cars-and-roads/466377388
  6. Once again, Eric Flack and WUSA 9 continued an in-depth investigation of the truck underride problem & solution with insight, energy, & intent. Facebook Live at the Roundtable Crash Test:  https://www.facebook.com/marianne.karth/posts/10214194153315951

How You Can Help Us Get Comprehensive Underride Protection On Trucks

I know that I can’t be the only person in this country (or the planet for that matter) who would like to see trucks made safer to drive around. So, for anyone else who would like to help get comprehensive underride protection on trucks in the U.S., here are some ideas:  http://annaleahmary.com/how-you-can-help/

 

SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017 at IIHS

SAVE THE DATE for the Second Underride Roundtable: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

We will continue to discuss how to bring about

the BEST POSSIBLE UNDERRIDE PROTECTION.

IIHS will once again co-host this event, with the Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, at their Vehicle Research Center.

Save the Date

Underride Roundtable Led to Recommendations Submitted as a Consensus Public Comment to NHTSA

The Underride Roundtable at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on May 5, 2016, has led to a Consensus Document outlining recommendations for improvement in the federal standards for rear underride guards on semi-trailers. The following Public Comment was posted on regulations.gov/The Federal Register on August 8, 2016:

August 6, 2016

The Honorable Mark R. Rosekind, Ph.D. Administrator
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 49 CFR Part 571, Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking; Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118

Dear Administrator Rosekind:

On May 5, 2016, almost 100 people participated in an Underride Roundtable hosted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety at their Vehicle Research Center in Ruckersville, Virginia, with co-sponsors Truck Safety Coalition and AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety. Participants included researchers, safety advocacy groups, the trucking industry, truck trailer manufacturers and government officials, including members of NHTSA staff. Discussions during the meeting ranged from descriptions of the nature and magnitude of the underride problem to potential solutions including better conspicuity, new rear underride guard designs and the potential for side guards to prevent run-overs of pedestrians and cyclists in urban environments. The information shared during our meeting clearly illustrated the need to do more to address underride crashes as well as the possibility of doing so.

During the meeting IIHS conducted a 35 mph 30 percent overlap frontal crash test of a midsize car into the new and improved rear underride guard available on trailers manufactured by Stoughton. The guard prevented underride and occupant compartment intrusion thereby becoming the 4th major trailer manufacturer to offer guards capable of preventing underride at 35 mph in all 3 configurations tested by IIHS – full overlap, 50 percent overlap and 30 percent overlap (press release). These 4 manufacturers – Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard and Wabash – represent nearly 40 percent of the truck trailer market in the United States. IIHS crash tests indicate that a higher level of underride protection is possible and the March announcement (press release) that J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. ordered 4,000 trailers with the new Wabash RIG-16 Rear Underride Guard System indicate that better guards are not an impediment to the service trailers provide.

Subsequent to the Underride Roundtable, all participants were invited to attend a follow-up meeting at the IIHS office in Arlington, Virginia. On June 24, 2016, thirteen people representing different points of view met to formulate updated recommendations for NHTSA’s consideration as it deliberates the proposed upgrade of FMVSS 223. Adopting the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 223 will do little to advance underride protection because trailer manufacturers already are fitting guards that meet this standard and IIHS testing illustrates that greater levels of strength are needed to address the full range of potential impact zones between the vehicle and rear of the trailer. We believe that incorporating the following recommendations in its final rule will help prevent the senseless loss of lives associated with crashes into the rear of heavy trucks.

*      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *      *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

1. The revised FMVSS 223 should require guards that are strong enough to allow the inherent crashworthiness of modern passenger vehicles to be realized. Specifically, guards should prevent underride and occupant compartment intrusion when struck by a typical passenger vehicle at 35 mph with overlaps ranging from 30 percent of the passenger vehicle’s width to full overlap between passenger vehicle and truck trailer. Tests of trailers from Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard, and Wabash illustrate the practicability of providing the level of underride protection described above.

2. It should be possible to prescribe a regulatory test procedure based on quasi-static loading and minimum force levels that will lead to guards capable of providing the same or better level of underride protection as demonstrated by guards on Manac, Stoughton, Vanguard and Wabash trailers.

3. The underride guard and trailer structure are a system. As such, compliance testing of rear impact guard strength should be conducted with the guard attached to the trailers and/or a portion of it that includes all structures to which the guard attaches.

 

This consensus document was signed by the following individuals:

Respectfully submitted,
David Zuby, Chief Research Officer
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Gary Fenton, VP of Engineering
Stoughton Trailers

Aaron Kiefer, Consulting Engineer
Accident Research Specialists

Paul Hutson,
ECU engineering student & intern with Aaron Kiefer

Jared Bryson, SR Mechanical Systems Group Leader
Virginia Tech, Center for Technology Development

Perry Ponder, President
Seven Hills Engineering

Raphael Grzebieta, Professor of Road Safety & Australian Naturalistic Driver Study
Lead Chief Investigator (Maintains that dynamic crash testing is preferable to quasi-static testing)

Andy Young, Attorney
Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy Law Firm

Jerry Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Father of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Isaac Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Brother of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Marianne Karth, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety
Mother of Underride Victims AnnaLeah & Mary Karth

Robert Martineau,
Airflow Deflector

Roy Crawford, PE, Forensic Engineer
Father of Underride Victim Guy Crawford

Stephen A. Batzer, Ph.D., P.E.
Batzer Engineering

Bruce E. Enz
Injury & Crash Analysis, LLC

Ashley McMillan
Girlfriend of Underride Victim Michael Higginbotham

Randy and Laurie Higginbotham
Parents of Underride Victim Michael Higginbotham

Tamara Brininger, Paralegal & Community Initiatives Coordinator
Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy

Austin Brininger, Engineering Student

Louis Lombardo
Care for Crash Victims

See a pdf of the recommendations here: Underride Roundtable Consensus Comment NPRM_ Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118

Here is a link to the Underride Consensus Public Document on regulations.gov: Consensus Comment on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Proposed Rule: Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection

Roads SaferBest Protection

One more very important thing, please sign the just-launched petition requesting NHTSA to mandate SIDE GUARDS on large trucks: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/104/026/213/mandate-side-guards-on-large-trucks-to-end-deadly-side-underride-crashes/

Underride Roundtable led to Consensus Underride Recommendations for Submission to NHTSA

Following the successful Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, a group of thirteen people pulled together a Consensus Comment for submission to NHTSA for their consideration.

Today, I emailed this document to the nearly 100 people who attended the roundtable — inviting them to read and sign this set of recommendations for the current rear underride rulemaking on semi-trailers.

Thank you again for participating in the Underride Roundtable hosted by the IIHS on May 5, 2016.

As a follow-up to that successful event, a subsequent meeting, to which you all were invited, took place on June 24 at the IIHS offices in Arlington, Virginia. A smaller group participated in that meeting and were able to put together a Consensus Document which we will be submitted to NHTSA as a Public Comment.

Here is a post with a report on that meeting: Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers!

NHTSA has indicated to me that they, “look forward to your recommendations and encourage your continued submissions to the public dockets on NHTSA’s rulemakings on truck underride safety, specifically Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0070 for NHTSA’s rear underride protection for single-unit trucks. . . and Docket No. NHTSA-2015-0118 for NHTSA’s rear underride protection for semi-trailers. . . As with all of our public proceedings, we will give all comments full consideration to help inform our next actions.”

The Consensus Document specifically addresses the NPRM for semi-trailers. Please review the attached document and, if you agree with the Consensus Recommendations and would like to add your name to this document, please let me know by August 6, 2016. I will be submitting this as a Public Comment at the end of that day.

I look forward to continued positive communication among us all.
Marianne

p.s. Please read the attached Consensus Comment document, as well as the press release which is referred to in the document: Press Release: J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. Orders 4,000 Trailers with New Rear Impact Guard Design

NOTE to non-engineers: This would make the NHTSA’s proposed rule stronger — yielding underride guards which should be able to withstand crashes at the outer edges of the trucks. Translation = Save More Lives

Here is the Consensus Document: Consensus Comment NPRM_ Docket No

I will welcome all signatures — whether you were able to participate in the Underride Roundtable or not.

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Mary would have turned 17 on August 6.

International Call for Underride Research Re: Injury Prevention & Energy Absorption Issues

A year ago, I put together a request for underride design proposals.

As a result of that, I came in contact with some awesome underride prevention researchers from around the globe, including:

  • Aaron Kiefer:
  1. Innovative combined side & rear guard promises better underride protection
  2. Imagine a truck UNDERRIDE GUARD which provides REAR & SIDE protection.
  3. Witnessed safety defect in action at underride crash tests; this is what snuffed out my daughters’ lives.
  4. Just got home from the latest side guard crash test. Watch it here!
  • the Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team and their advisors, Jared Bryson and Robin Ott:
  1. Virginia Tech Senior Design Project is Addressing the Need for Stronger Underride Guards; Mid-Semester Progress Report
  2. Senior Underride Design Project Mid-Year Report Presented by Virginia Tech Students
  3. Virginia Tech Senior Underride Design Team Spring Midterm Report
  4. Hurrah! VA Tech Sr. Dream Team has attached their underride guard to a trailer!
  5. VA Tech Student Engineers Shine in Underride Roundtable Presentation

This year, I am putting together another request for underride design proposals. This time, I would like to be a little bit more specific and put out a call for research and data to put to rest, once and for all, the controversy over underride guard rigidity/strength and the potential for unintended injuries from too rigid guards. I would like to see it result in data which could lead to design of the best possible underride protection and practical solutions for underride guards to incorporate energy absorption components where appropriate.

Beyond that, because the crashworthiness of passenger vehicles could change over time, I would hope that the information compiled from past research and/or new research completed in the coming year would provide practical means for updating underride prevention technology in the future.

I hope to submit an abstract by June 30, 2016 to be considered for the presentation of compiled research and data on these issues at the First International Roadside Safety Conference in San Francisco in June 2017, as well as at future Underride Roundtables and made available to the engineering and trailer manufacturing community.

If only

instead of like this:

IMG_4465

Note: At the Knights of the Underride Roundtable on June 24, 2016, we briefly discussed the decades-old controversy of “too rigid guards” causing unintended injuries, deceleration forces, need for energy absorption, etc.

Yesterday, I recorded my thoughts about this confusing issue. I hope some will take the time to listen. In any case, expressing it was helpful to me as a survivor of an underride crash which killed my two daughters:

AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety underride research goals

SIGN  & SHARE the TRAFFIC SAFETY OMBUDSMAN Petition:  https://wh.gov/i6kUj

PLEASE NOTE: If you sign the petition, be sure to go to your email. We the People will send you an email which will say this in the subject line:  “Almost done! Verify your Petitions.WhiteHouse.gov account.” Follow the instructions to verify your signature.

Knights of the Underride Roundtable: Finding Some Common Ground to Protect Travelers!

On June 24, 2016, people from diverse backgrounds met around a table at the IIHS offices in Arlington, Virginia, to continue the good work begun at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016. This time, we rolled up our sleeves and hammered out a written recommendation for better rear underride guard requirements for tractor-trailers. To save lives.

First of all, we heard a presentation from Raphael Grzebieta on the approach which Australia is taking to improve rear underride protection in their country.

The basic idea is that they are not concerning themselves with spelling out detailed design specifications (e.g., what loads a guard needs to be able to withstand) but simply outline the performance evaluation criteria of: prevention of underride with the result of a survivable crash (with no injury criteria but instead relying on the crashworthiness of the passenger vehicle). While we might not yet be ready for that radical of an approach, we were given some food for thought.

(If anyone else had a different perception or would like to clarify my simplified explanation, please let me know and I can edit this description.)

Then, we had some useful discussion about the goals for improving underride protection, as well as some of the challenges which trailer manufacturers face. We benefited from some heated discussion which helped us to clarify terms and priorities. (See the bottom of the post for the Meeting Binder which I handed out for discussion purposes.)

After a break for lunch, we got down to work and spent some time brainstorming. As suggestions were tossed out for discussion, Andy Young typed up the suggestions , which were projected onto a screen for us to analyze and refine. Andy worked us hard and enabled us to reach a consensus and common ground upon which we could all agree.

What we came away with was a very good draft of recommendations for updated rear underride guard regulations for tractor-trailers. We also decided upon a tangible process for moving forward:

  1. David Zuby will send the list of recommendations to me.
  2. I will mail them out to the meeting participants.
  3. They will make suggestions for revision, if appropriate.
  4. We will come to a consensus for the creation of a final document to which we are all willing to sign our names.
  5. Then I will distribute that document to the entire list of participants of the original May 5 Underride Roundtable — giving them the opportunity to review it and decide if they want to sign it as well.
  6. We will then send the document to NHTSA via the Federal Register as a Public Comment on the Underride Rulemaking from the Coalition of Stakeholders Interested in Underride Prevention (CSIUP). [Tentative title for our group for lack of a better name to which we can refer]

We agreed to wait for future meetings to address other topics of importance* in the drive for underride prevention. These include such vital things as protection at higher speeds than 35 mph, Single Unit Trucks (which currently have inadequate or non-existent underride protection), side guards, front override, parking and conspicuity issues, and retrofitting.

Good work, team! Knights of the Roundtable! Just maybe, we will finally get our Dragon Underride Protector! To make Mary & AnnaLeah proud!

*Additionally, we briefly discussed the decades-old controversy of “too rigid guards” causing unintended injuries, deceleration forces, need for energy absorption, etc. See my thoughts on that: Urgent Underride Discussion of Deceleration Forces/High Speeds. Don’t Dawdle.

And today, I recorded my thoughts about this confusing issue. I hope some will take the time to listen. In any case, expressing it was helpful to me:

Underride Roundtable Follow-up Work Group (all 94 Roundtable participants from May 5 were invited):

  1. David Zuby (Chief Research Officer, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  2. John Lannen (Director, Truck Safety Coalition)
  3. Gary Fenton (VP of Engineering, Stoughton Trailers — read that Sto like go)
  4. Ted Scott (Director of Engineering, American Trucking Associations)
  5. Aaron Kiefer (Consulting Engineer, Accident Research Specialists)
  6. Paul Hutson (ECU engineering student and intern with Aaron)
  7. Jared Bryson (Virginia Tech, Center for Technology Development, SR Mechanical Systems Group Leader)
  8. Perry Ponder (President, Seven Hills Engineering)
  9. Raphael Grzebieta (Professor of Road Safety & Australian Naturalistic Driver Study, Lead Chief Investigator)
  10. Jerry Karth
  11. Isaac Karth
  12. Marianne Karth

Underride meeting 6.24 001 Underride meeting 6.24 004 Underride meeting 6.24 006 Underride meeting 6.24 008 Underride meeting 6.24 003If onlysusanna mary annaleah in costumeDragon Underride Protector 004

International Call for Underride Research Re: Injury Prevention & Energy Absorption Issues

Contents of the Meeting Binder which I handed out for discussion purposes:

  1. Five Points Concerning Prevention of Truck Underride
  2. Proposal for an Energy Absorbing Underrun Protection System for Commercial Vehicles by Detlef Alwes
  3. UMTRI-89-2, Final Report: Examination of Features Proposed for Improving Truck Safety, May 1989 The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Aaron Adiv and Robert D. Ervin:  https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/817/78350.0001.001.pdf?sequence=2&isAllowed=y Reveals how and why earlier underride rulemaking was opposed despite evidence to show that it was expected to be effective.
  4. Article by Andy Young, panel moderator at the Underride Roundtable: Broken Glass And Shattered Lives – A Mother’s Journey Through Grief Brings Hope For Preventing Underride Truck Crashes
  5. Preliminary_Regulatory_Evaluation_-_Re_NPRM_published_Dec_16_2015 (1)
  6. Highlights of the NPRM Rear Impact Guards, Rear Impact Protection December 2015 document
  7. Truck Underride Fatalities, 1994-2014
  8. Other documents and links provided to meeting participants:
    1. March Historically a Momentous Month for Truck Underride Safety Advocacy; Beware the Ides of March!
    2. Informative articles on underride:
    3. Voluntary Efforts:
    4. Underride Research:
    5. Underride Rulemaking:
      1. NHTSA Has Initiated a Rulemaking Process to Evaluate Options for Improving Underride Guards
      2. Good news from Australia: A Stronger Rear Underride Guard Rule Has Been Proposed!
      3. A Mom’s Knee-Jerk Reaction to NHTSA’s Proposed Rule to Improve Rear Underride Protection The basic problem is that the proposed rule is simply adopting the Canadian rule which 93% of existing trailers already comply with and does not address offset crashes. So it is not much of an improvement, plus it does not address side or front and SUTs. Or retrofitting.
      4. Comments on the NPRM for Rear Underride Guards on Trailers by Jerry Karth
      5. Truck Trailer Manufacturers Ass’n “Reminds” NHTSA: Side Guards Are “Not Cost-Effective” Says Who?
      6. NPRM Upgrade Rear Underide–Federal Register with Public Comments links
      7. ANPRM Underride Protection of Single Unit Trucks

A Mother’s Journey Through Grief Brings Hope For Preventing Underride Truck Crashes-Andy Young

Energy absorbing bumpers, crumple zones, and seatbelts could not save the lives of backseat passengers, 13 year-old Mary and 17 year-old AnnaLeah. They were traveling in a four-door sedan driven by their mother, Marianne Karth.

Highway traffic slowed to a stop as the Karth sedan was hit from behind by a semi-truck. The first impact spun their blue, four-door sedan 180 degrees. The same semi-truck’s momentum caused a second impact which shoved the Karth sedan backwards underneath yet another truck’s trailer. The rear bar on the second truck’s trailer was not strong enough to prevent the Karth vehicle from going underneath. The rigid structure of the trailer’s steel frame effortlessly shattered the back window, which failed to protect the back of the Karth girls’ heads and bodies. AnnaLeah died instantly. Four days later, Mary died as a result of her catastrophic injuries.

None of the car’s manufactured, safety engineering made a difference to save the lives of Marianne’s daughters. Why? Because the dynamics of the crash resulted in a truck underride.

Little did Marianne Karth know at that moment, on May 4, 2013, that she would become one of the nation’s leading truck safety advocates working toward meaningful prevention of underride truck crashes.

Read more here: Broken Glass And Shattered Lives – A Mother’s Journey Through Grief Brings Hope For Preventing Underride Truck Crashes  by Andrew Young

We were privileged to have Andy serve as the awesome panel moderator at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, at IIHS.

Andy Young and Marianne Karth

 

Important Follow-up to the Underride Roundtable, June 24 at IIHS: The Work Continues

We have scheduled a follow-up meeting to the Underride Roundtable on Friday, June 24, at 10:00 a.m. at the IIHS offices in Arlington, VA. Further details will be shared when available.

We will mainly be discussing the proposed Australian underride rule with a presentation by Raphael Grzebieta from Australia. It is our hope that this will help the United States assess the relevancy of Australia’s progressive work to the future of underride rulemaking for improved protection in our country.

News of this proposed rule:

Other topics — relevant to our goal of reducing underride crashes, fatalities, and severe injuries — will be addressed to some extent, including side and front underride/override, retrofitting, SUTs/exempt trucks, conspicuity, parking.  Future meetings are anticipated in order to continue working on the preventable underride problem.

In addition to the underride rule from Australia, comments from Detlef Alwes of Germany should be carefully reviewed by anyone who holds responsibility for advancing underride protection. This is the most important point which he has made to me over & over in his communication with me via email:

Real energy absorbing underrun protection crash structures or deformation zones on commercial vehicles should become standard, as they have been on passenger cars for decades.

Here is a presentation on underride protection prepared by Detlef: Proposal for an Energy Absorbing Underrun Protection System for Commercial Vehicles

After observing the webcast of the Underride Roundtable, Detlef also made the following recommendations which he would like shared with interested parties in the United States who bear responsibility for the advancement of underride protection.

In my opinion the following points should be addressed for rulemaking:
  • real energy absorbing underrun protection system design (the current UP systems are rigid structures to be avoided).
  • lateral proof loads to be considered in design and testing.
  • instead of dot-like test loads, the test loads should be defined area-like distributed.
  • the test collision speed should be higher (just in Germany, the collision velocities are much higher than these of the current crash tests because most highways have no speed limitation).
  • the ‘Follow-up Underride Roundtable’ should develop Underrun Protection Guidelines and discuss them on UN/ECE level (WP29). “

Detlef’s last recommendation should be given serious consideration, as underride protection is not unique to one country or another. Saving lives is saving lives.

The UN/ECE level (WP29) aims for worldwide technical harmonization of vehicles: The worldwide technical harmonisation of vehicles is governed by two international agreements – the 1958 Agreement and the 1998 parallel Agreement. These agreements establish harmonised requirements at global level to ensure high levels of safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency, and theft protection. Both agreements help eliminate existing technical barriers to trade and prevent the creation of new ones. The involvement of the EU enables easy access to non-EU markets for manufacturers.

This is Detlef’s experience with this kind of collaborative process:

This suggestion is based on my experience in another field: I was the German representative in an international committee for space debris mitigation (IADC: Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee). The 11 members of the space leading nations have developed the so-called ‘Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines’.

These Guidelines have been presented to the UN, to the Scientific Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS (UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space). In this Committee the UN Guidelines for Space Debris Mitigation have been worked out and ratified. It was confirmed by the Committee that this process was very effective and very fast – exemplary. The initiative was started by US (NASA), Europe (ESA) and Russia.

It would be great, if we could establish also such an international committee to develop underrun protection guidelines, which we present to the UN/ECE WP 29. The Proposal to the WP 29 can be put on the agenda by the heads of delegation of the represented nations. Maybe such a process can be started by the initiative of you, the IIHS, the NHTSA and others. According my experience, the German governmental authorities will not be initiative to start. They will follow if it works no longer differently.

His reaction to the Virginia Tech team was this:

Yes, I followed this presentation. At the beginning, I thought that there are good concepts but than I was a little bit disappointed about the chosen reference concept, which is near the conventional barriers with small energy absorbing struts. It is a pity that a more effective underride protection system is owed the opinion that it gets too expensive. My suggestion is to start with a realistic energy absorbing underride protection system, and when effective, one can continue with mass and cost saving measures.

I asked Detlef what he thought of crash testing at higher speeds:

Me: I don’t know if you noticed in the webcast, but I raised the question multiple times about why we were not testing at higher speeds and could we please do so. 

Detlef: Yes, I noticed that, and I fully agree. I am wondering that the ADAC in Germany is testing also at 56 km/h, corresponding to 35 mph. That is not very realistic,  just were in Germany on most highways is no speed limitation, and therefore in most cases the collision velocities are much higher, although if a braking action in the last moment has been taken.

Detlef: Some organisations require higher proof loads, to which bumpers have to withstand. This means that the bumpers of the trucks become stiffer and stiffer. Actual bumpers have to withstand these static dot-like proof loads in longitudinal direction and may break if they are exceeded. This should not be the intention for a crash compatible partnership between the trucks and passenger cars. Decades of discussions in international committees have failed to develop bumper technology beyond what it was in the 1950s. The message should be: Energy absorbing underrun protection structures on commercial vehicles should become standard, as they are on passenger cars for decades.

Detlef watched the Underride Roundtable livestreaming and had submitted a question about oblique impact to the panel discussion:

 

I hope the sketch will express what I mean. In the case of an oblique impact on the reaqr side of a truck, the lateral test loads/forces are not defined, only the longitudinal loads/forces in P1, P2 and P3. The damage in the case of an oblique impact can be higher than in the case of an impact in the direction of the longitudinal axes.

Oblique Impact Drawing Detlef Alwes

Offset tests show that the passenger car is turning due to the offset of the Center of Gravities of both cars. But also in this case, the lateral loads/forces are not considered in the regulations.

Underride is a decades-old problem. I look forward to a future less plagued by such preventable tragedies.

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Underride Roundtable Timeline Victim families by Underride Timeline Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 169 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141 Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 008 Roundtable Display Table Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy ALMFTS facebook banner

Reflections from a bereaved dad on the Underride Roundtable & what that means for rulemaking

Jerry Karth submitted some additional comments on the proposed underride rule–with reflections on what was learned through the Underride Roundtable. These comments have now been posted on the Federal Register: Additional Comments on Underride Rulemaking by Jerry Karth, May 19, 2016

He included the following important points:

After participating in the Underride Roundtable, I would like to offer these additional comments (also attached as pdf with clickable links):

1. When the Karth family petitioned Secretary Foxx on May 5, 2014, we requested an upgrade in rear underride guards. At the time, we requested that the U.S. guards meet or exceed the Canadian standard. Since that time, having done extensive online research, we have come in contact with researchers who have shown that much more is possible given existing or proposed underride research.

2. One of the questions raised at the Underride Roundtable was whether underride protection could be produced to prevent underride at higher speeds. In the Preliminary Regulatory Evaluation of the NPRM, NHTSA requested information about underride guard crash tests at higher speeds (than the 35 mph currently being proposed). In fact, underride research has been conducted for decades which has demonstrated that it is possible to prevent underride crashes at higher speeds. It is research which has been available and known to regulators and the industry. For example, the Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC) in Australia tested energy-absorbing guards to 75 km/h or 47 mph in the early 1990s. http://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/216924/muarc026.pdf

3. The image of a MUARC energy-absorbing underride guard can be seen in the attachment.

4. The U.S. final underride rule should, at minimum, copy the new Australian/New Zealand proposed rule published in April 2016 as the next underride guard rule rather than the present Canadian rule which is 11 years old. The Australian rule mentions test speeds under the heading Test Requirements on p. 60, Clause G7.3: “Current vehicle crashworthiness technology indicates that occupants will not suffer serous injury in an equivalent frontal impact speed of up to around 64 km/h into a deformable barrier if the car is a modern five star Australian New Car Assessment (ANCAP) vehicle. . . The development of effective energy absorbing TUBs [Truck Underrun Barrier] would both reduce the serious injury to vehicle occupants and increase the effect frontal impact speed DeltaV above the 70 km/h test speed compared with a rigid TUB.”

5. It is technically feasible to develop an improved underride guard in less than a year, as the VA Tech Students demonstrated.

6. The consumers of the trailers have requested and received, from 4 of the trailer manufacturers (Wabash, Manac, Vanguard, Stoughton) improved underride guards.
7. Four of the major trailer manufacturers were more than willing to step up and provide a better underride guard (successfully tested at 35 mph for a 30% offset crash).

8. It is cost-effective to design and build a better underride guard.

9. The Cost/Benefit Analysis (CBA ) used in this rulemaking is faulty as clearly demonstrated by some of the manufacturers’ willingness to step up and provide a better underride guardeven without regulation. (Truck Safety Marketplace)

10. It is possible to bring all of the parties involved into the process, to have meaningful conversation, and to make progress.

These attachments were included:

Jerry submitted his original public comment regarding the proposed underride rulemaking on February 16, 2016. A Bereaved Dad Takes a Close Look at the Flaws in Underride Regulatory Cost/Benefit Analysis

Underride Roundtable Timeline74 gertie 2314PetitionHeader_option2Underride Roundtable May 5, 2016 141

Underride Roundtable Phase 2: Crafting Recommendations to Present to NHTSA For Final Rule

Excerpt from a previous post: Avoid an impasse: Follow-up Underride Roundtable with Negotiated Rulemaking Meeting

It is my hope that we can pursue a recommendation, made by a participant of the Underride Roundtable during the afternoon panel discussion, and organize a group of affected individuals and organizations/companies to meet together and develop a proposal to take to NHTSA in order to bring about a comprehensive negotiated rulemaking.

Yesterday, I sent out an email to participants of the Underride Roundtable–asking them to attend Phase 2 of the Underride Roundtable. I am getting some positive response and also some request for clarification of my goal for this meeting. So, the remainder of this post will serve to clarify what I am proposing.

Basically, the point is that NHTSA–now that the formal Public Comment period has ended for the Rear Underride NPRM–is in the process of reviewing those comments and crafting a final underride rule. Once that “final” rule is published, we will need to determine if it would be an adequate rule.

My thought is that now is the time to be hammering out an agreement–amongst ourselves (trucking industry, manufacturers, consumers, safety advocates, engineers, underride victims)–about what is an acceptable underride rule rather than wait until after NHTSA has already prepared a final rule. This agreement would include all aspects of underride protection.

We want to see it taken care of now and not wait for years to get any additional significant improvement/saved lives. Then, too, from the trucking industry perspective, such a strategy could avoid a situation of continuous changes down the road when solutions are known to be possible now.

Actually, this is what I had hoped would come out of the original Roundtable–a specific recommendation to NHTSA. Since that did not occur, my suggestion is that we go ahead now and hold a second meeting which would allow us to prepare a proposal to present to NHTSA as a petition for a new, comprehensive underride rule.

I am prepared to work to get this organized and underway as soon as possible. I have already had quite a few people get back to me to let me know that they would like to participate in this meeting, which would not strictly speaking be Negotiated Rulemaking but a Facilitated Crafting of Best Practice Recommendations for Underride Protection.

I’m sure that some will react with skepticism that this could ever work. But I am willing to put the effort into pursuing an impossible dream with hopes of realizing an actually-attainable outcome–making underride crashes be a thing of the past.

And if you wonder what makes me think that I (our family) has the authority to bring this about. . . the other day, I was reviewing the OMB Circular A-4. a document from the White House Office of Management & Budget to the heads of Executive Agencies with guidelines for the analysis of proposed regulatory actions.

Basically, a federal regulation should be issued when there has been a failure of the private market to protect the public (decades of underride fatalities and serious injuries). There should be an assessment of the significance of the problem (hundreds of deaths/year–decade after decade), and it should be shown that a government intervention is likely to do more good than harm (industry has complied with previous rules & research has shown that stronger underride protection/rules is/are possible to save more lives ):

Before recommending Federal regulatory action, an agency must demonstrate that the proposed action is necessary. . . Executive Order 12866 states that “Federal agencies should promulgate only such regulations as are required by law, are necessary to interpret the law, or are made necessary by compelling need, such as material failures of private markets to protect or improve the health and safety of the public, the environment, or the well being of the American people. . .”

Executive Order 12866 also states that “Each agency shall identify the problem that it intends to address (including, where applicable, the failures of private markets or public institutions that warrant new agency action) as well as assess the significance of that problem.”. . . If the regulation is designed to correct a significant market failure, you should describe the failure both qualitatively and (where feasible) quantitatively. You should show that a government intervention is likely to do more good than harm. For other interventions, you should also provide a demonstration of compelling social purpose and the likelihood of effective action. OMB Circular a-4.pdf

Well, then, because the private market has failed to protect us from deadly underride and, furthermore, the government has failed to adequately regulate this safety defect, then it behooves me, as a citizen of this country, to initiate action to rectify this tragic oversight.

Note: If anyone would like to host this meeting at their facility, please let me know as soon as possible so we can get this underway.

Notes on the Rulemaking Process:

  1.  Links on The Rulemaking Process:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf, excerpts below. . .
  2. How do public comments affect the final rule? The 
notice and comment 
process 
enables 
anyone 
to 
submit 
a 
comment 
on 
any 
part 
of 
the
 proposed
 rule.
 This 
process
 is 
not 
like
 a 
ballot 
initiative 
or 
an 
up or down
 vote
in 
a 
legislature.

 An
 agency
 is 
not 
permitted
 to 
base 
its 
final 
rule 
on 
the
 number 
of
comments in 
support 
of 
the rule 
over 
those 
in 
opposition 
to 
it. 
At 
the 
end
 of
 the 
process, 
the 
agency 
must 
base 
its
 reasoning 
and
 conclusions 
on 
the 
rulemaking 
record, 
consisting 
of 
the 
comments, 
scientific
 data, 
expert 
opinions,
 and
 facts
accumulated 
during 
the
 pre‐rule 
and
 proposed 
rule
 stages.

 To 
move 
forward
 with 
a 
final 
rule, 
the
 agency
 must 
conclude 
that 
its 
proposed
 solution 
will 
help
 accomplish 
the 
goals 
or 
solve 
the 
problems
 identified. 

It 
must 
also 
consider 
whether 
alternate
 solutions 
would
 be 
more 
effective 
or 
cost 
less.

 If 
the 
rulemaking
 record
 contains persuasive 
new
 data 
or 
policy 
arguments,
 or 
poses 
difficult
 questions
 or 
criticisms, 
the 
agency 
may 
decide 
to 
terminate 
the 
rulemaking. 

Or, 
the 
agency
 may
 decide 
to 
continue
 the 
rulemaking
 but 
change 
aspects 
of 
the
 rule to 
reflect
 these 
new
 issues. 

If 
the 
changes 
are 
major, 
the 
agency 
may
 publish 
a 
supplemental 
proposed
 rule. 

If 
the
 changes 
are
 minor, 
or 
a 
logical 
outgrowth
 of 
the 
issues 
and
 solutions
 discussed 
in
 the
 proposed
 rules, 
the
 agency
 may
 proceed
 with 
a
 final 
rule.
  3. What is the role of the President in developing a final rule? In 
the 
same 
way 
that 
the
President 
and 
the 
Office 
of 
Information 
& 
Regulatory
 Affairs 
(OIRA) review 
draft
proposed 
rules 
prior 
to 
publication, 
the 
President 
and 
OIRA 
analyze 
draft 
final
 rules
when 
they
 are
 “significant” 
due 
to 
economic 
effects 
or 
because 
they 
raise 
important
 policy 
issues.

 The 
Presidential 
level 
review 
takes 
place 
before 
the 
final 
rule 
is
published 
in 
the
 Federal 
Register. 

OIRA’s 
final 
analysis
 of
 estimated 
costs 
and
benefits 
may take 
into
 consideration any 
comments 
and
 alternate 
solutions
suggested 
in 
public 
comments. Agencies 
may 
also
 use 
this 
review 
and 
analysis 
phase 
to 
consult 
with
 other 
agencies who 
share
 responsibility 
for 
issues 
covered 
by
the 
rule. 

In
 some 
cases,
 interagency 
review 
is 
mandatory.

Negotiated Rulemaking